Photorefractive keratectomy, also known as PRK eye surgery, is a type of eye surgery used to correct astigmatism, far-sightedness and near-sightedness. It was the first kind of laser eye surgery to be developed and is, thus, a predecessor of LASIK. It is still commonly performed.
What Does PRK Eye Surgery Involve?
As with LASIK, Dr. Patel uses an excimer laser to reshape the cornea so light can enter the eye and be properly focused for clear vision. The two procedures are quite similar with the main difference being the early steps. In LASIK, Dr. Patel uses a laser to make a thin flap on the surface of the cornea to expose the tissues underneath. At the end of the surgery, she closes the flap. In PRK, Dr. Patel removes the epithelial layer on the cornea’s surface and throws it away. A new layer grows as the patient recovers after the procedure.
PRK eye surgery is an outpatient procedure that is performed in the comfort of our office. Numbing drops are used in order to ensure patient comfort during the entire procedure.
What is the Recovery Like?
PRK eye surgery generally has a longer recovery period than does LASIK. Dr. Patel can prescribe antibiotics and certain medications to prevent infection, reduce discomfort and prevent swelling. The patient will have to check in with Dr. Patel and her staff over the following weeks in order to monitor progress.
The PRK procedure has a very high success rate. Most patients gain 20/20 vision, and nearly all gain at least 20/40 vision. Patients over 40 may still need reading glasses, however, for there is a good chance they have an age-related condition that PRK eye surgery can’t fix.
Who is a Good Candidate for PRK Eye Surgery?
The ideal candidate will be a healthy adult with realistic expectations. During a consultation with Dr. Patel at Wichita Vision Institute, you can learn more about your candidacy for this procedure. Our office is located in Wichita, KS. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and get started on your journey to clear, crisp vision!